Weird how that works out -- it's like there aren't all that many evil people in the world, or something.
"Protests Never Accomplish Anything"
This is the big one, and it basically goes: "Yeah but, like, why? Why go to protests? Why gather in a group? That's not how our government works, you see -- we have voting and elected officials. All you're doing is blocking traffic and irritating people. What role does a protest even have in a democracy, where the people already rule?"
It's by far the most common critique of protests I hear. Sometimes it even happens at the protests themselves: While I was in downtown LA at an anti-Steve Bannon rally last November, someone rolled by in a BMW (a 750Li, no less, because these people have zero self-awareness), leaned out his window and shouted "What do you think you're doing? What? What can you possibly accomplish by doing this?"
I'm not gonna take any lip from a guy whose shifter knob has a touch-screen.
He drove away before I could answer, which is rude (what were you accomplishing by asking a question and not waiting for an answer, dipshit?), but if he had hung around I would've said this:
We're reminding each other that we fucking exist. Protesters aren't a different species of human or lazy assholes with no jobs. I haven't worked fewer than 70 hours a week since my sophomore year of college, and every single person I know who protests is similarly neurotic. We get lost in our own personal and professional shit just like everyone else, and start taking things for granted. And then something like Trump's presidency or the loss of a friend to something stupid comes along, and we look around and say "What in the rickety handbasket of hell happened? I'm busting my ass to fuel this economy, this country, and this is the direction our captain is driving it in?" In those moments we feel like it's just us against America. And it's disheartening. You don't want to go to work, you don't want to have fun with your friends, you just wanna drink cheap whiskey and play tearful Streetlight Manifesto covers on your guitar really, really loud until your neighbors knock on your door and say "If you don't stop playing 'We Will Fall Together' I am going to cut out and eat your eyeballs in a special eyeball gumbo that I am right now preparing on my stove. You can probably smell it. Look at me. Look at me, Sargent. Do I look like I'm fucking with you?" (that last part might just be me).
Last Saturday I had the honor to march with some of the bravest, strongest, and smartest people I've ever met. They were in the streets everywhere from Los Angeles to Seattle to Olympia to Washington D.C. to Helena. And they were marching not just to remind the people in power that a sizable and powerful part of the country was upset, but to remind each other that they're all in this together with their wit and wisdom and funny signs, and that no matter how bad things get, they're full of love and they're not going to let each other down.
"What do they think they're doing?" Motherfucker, they already did it.
JF Sargent is a senior editor for Cracked and will gladly organize a protest for your birthday, bar mitzvah, or wedding. If you're in one of these pictures and would like your face unblurred or the image removed, contact him on Twitter or Facebook. Or just follow him, because it's his birthday today!
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